Chiropractic treatment

Individuals who like to try alternative medicines, also known as eastern medicine practices, are very fond of chiropractic treatment. For some people this may be a very valuable thing, and for others it may be a crock of bogus. Decades ago, chiropractic methods were seen as something totally undesirable, but more and more, people are turning to this method and other homeopathic solutions to solve their aches, woes, and other problems that western medicine has failed to correct. But does it work? That is the question. Perhaps we can answer this question by answering other questions: what is chiropractic medicine? Is it safe? Is it effective?

About Chiropractic Medicine

Another term for chiropractic treatment is spinal manipulation. Those who practice chiropractic believe that the health of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine, ultimately affects the health of the whole body via the nervous system. The therapy involves manipulation of the spine, other joints, and soft tissues; treatment also involves exercises and health and lifestyle counseling. There are different parts to the philosophy of chiropractic treatment: holism (health is affected by everything in an individual’s environment, reductionism (reduces causes and cures of health problems to a single factor), conservatism (emphasizes noninvasive treatment to reduce risks and maximize benefits), and homeostasis (emphasizes the body’s ability to heal itself). There are two different types of chiropractors: straights and mixers.

These chiropractors adhere to the original tenets of the man who invented chiropractic medicine. They believe that most diseases are caused by misaligned spinal bones (subluxations) that can be corrected with spinal adjustments. Basically, they claim to restore normal health. They don’t typically diagnose or treat diseases.

These chiropractors acknowledge that other factors can cause disease, such as germs and hormones. They are more likely to diagnose medical conditions and spinal abnormalities. Mixers often recommend nutrient concoctions, homeopathic products, and various types of physiotherapy (heat, cold, traction, exercise, massage, and ultrasound).

Is it Safe?
When done skillfully and appropriately, chiropractic care is, in general, safe. Chiropractic manipulation is relatively safe, but side effects and risks are involved; certain conditions should not be aligned or messed with, including rheumatoid arthritis and unstable joints. Some patients may experience new or worsening pain or stiffness after spinal manipulation. Choosing a chiropractor that has the right amount of education, qualifications, and practice is your best bet on choosing a chiropractor. One that has a good reputation in your area would be a good choice. Chiropractors, while doctors, cannot perform surgery or other invasive procedures, and they cannot prescribe medications. Insurance may or may not cover chiropractic costs.

Is it Effective?
As with many alternative medicine techniques, there are different opinions on the effectiveness of chiropractic medicine. There have been studies and research, but the findings differ, which leads to disagreement. Most of the research has focused on spinal manipulation; however, effectiveness of chiropractic manipulation on lower back pain, whiplash (neck) pain, headaches, and more have all been tested.

From a scientific standpoint, many findings may suggest that chiropractic care may not work. That, or the findings aren’t conclusive enough to show that it does work. From a medical standpoint, in an effort to relieve pain, many people have very well benefited from chiropractic therapy. Perhaps the best answer would be to discuss all the possible benefits, risks, and side effects with a chiropractor so you have all the information, and to make the decision for yourself on whether you want to receive chiropractic therapy. If you do choose to go through with it, and some adverse side effect happens, you were well informed beforehand. The saying, “you win some, you lose some,” works perfectly here. While many people disagree, from an individual standpoint, it doesn’t always apply. Some people can benefit magnificently from chiropractic and others may not.

Last updated on Jan 7th, 2011 and filed under Alternative Medicine. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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